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A Rhetorical Analysis of 'When My Kids Unplugged'

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Words: 1010 |

Pages: 2|

6 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Words: 1010|Pages: 2|6 min read

Published: Feb 13, 2024

Do You Need the Internet?

The text, When My Kids Unplugged, uses three rhetorical appeals; ethos, pathos, and logos. The author, Susan Maushart is best at bringing examples of logos for her reasoning why her and her kids unplugged from the internet for six months. She is also an American author and journalist who works in the United States and Australia. The use of her knowledge is coming from her experience and from what others experienced. Susan Maushart informs us that being away from the internet helps us in the long run because we need to experience life. The use of the rhetorical appeals supports that her kids haven’t lived their lives yet due to the bringing of technology. The author shows deficiency when she doesn’t provide polls or stats from different authors, but she gives her actual experience.

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The author uses not only her ideas and experiences, but she also uses other sources ideas, thoughts, and evidence to prove her argument. Even though she uses other people’s credentials, she gets it done. The first rhetorical appeal is ethos. According to Tufekci, “On the Internet today, everybody knows you’re a dog. If you don’t want people to know you’re a dog, you’d better stay away from a keyboard” (97). The way he uses this figure of speech expresses how he feels about this. I feel like the use of figure of speech puts an image in the audience head because they can understand the argument being made. Ethos is known as credentials. Susan Maushart is basically borrowing Tufekci ethos. The use of ethos is proving it works. Having another person view on something will get the audience or readers attention that it works. Yes, the author had some thoughts on why she got away from the internet, but she needed an extra opinion. According to the Flickr’s cofounder Caterina Fake, “These technologies allow you to be much more broadly friendly, but you just spread yourself much more thinly over many more people” (97). At times, technology does have a purpose. What’s the point of getting with friends when you can text them on social media? It’s used for getting to know people, but I believe that you can get to know someone in person. The basic structure of ethos is to show a person, audience, or people that you’re speaking your mind on the topic.

The next rhetorical appeal the author uses is pathos. According to Maushart, “My worst fear as a parent was that my kids might lose an alternative frame of reference—that growing up as Digital Natives, they would swallow the pancake paradigm whole and forget there were more nourishing ways for friends and family to connect (98). Pathos has everything to do with emotion. Examples of pathos include pity, fear, promise of gain, or identity. Susan Maushart is stating how she feels about her kids and the whole social media thing. She uses fear to catch the reader's attention like maybe the internet is bad for us. It’s there to reel them in towards the author. The argument of this is to persuade them into thinking like her. She’s also saying that the internet can be dangerous. For example, kids can get picked on verbally, mentally, and physically. Being on the internet can take people away from what’s important to them because having your eye on something that’s temporary can cause you to lose something that’s very important. It’s best to talk and connect with your family and friends face to face rather than on social media because why wouldn’t a person want to see them? Yes, people use social media to stay in touch, but a person would love another person’s presence. Susan points are well developed because she’s giving her emotion on how she feels for social media. According to Maushart, “Digital Natives breathe technology in order to...well, breathe (100). Her kids were becoming “Digital Natives” because all they did was get on the internet. It’s clear that she really fears the internet because she doesn’t want her kids to grow up and focus on the internet their entire life when they have a life to live.

The last rhetorical appeal is logos. Logos has everything to do with reason or a rhetorical technique. According to her son Bill, “The technology ban was nothing but a trigger” (99). Her son is saying that it opened his eyes on what he was missing, but he was too caught up in the internet. Being so into something, can make a person realize how much they are missing. Like my mother says, “Everything that glitters, isn’t gold.” Logos is also logic; using common sense of the human mind. If people don’t see the internet as holding them back, they have a problem. When Bill was away from the internet for some time, he did something that some people of this age would do. According to Maushart, “He started spending more time at the beach and pool, catching up with friends he hadn’t connected with since primary school” (98). Bill has a lot of logic. If something was taken away from him, he’d get out the house and go hang with his friends he had been distant towards. People don’t need the internet for everything. Communicating with friends or family should be done in person, not on social media or the internet.

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The overall points of this was that a person doesn’t need social media or the internet to do things. According to Maushart, “Loss of Facebook (not to mention loss of MSN and MySpace) seemed to increase her focus generally; at the same time, it put her out the loop with her old friends” (99). Susan was talking about her daughter. The internet was a minor setback for them all. Being with friends and family is more important. Social media is just a use. We all could learn something from Susan and maybe one day, we’ll all unplug for a while, and simply live life.

Works Cited

  1. Rodgers, Johannah. “When My Kids Unplugged.” Technology: A Reader for Writers.
  2. New York: Oxford University Press, 2014. 96-101. Print. 
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This essay was reviewed by
Dr. Charlotte Jacobson

Cite this Essay

A Rhetorical Analysis of ‘When My Kids Unplugged’. (2024, February 13). GradesFixer. Retrieved April 17, 2024, from https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-when-my-kids-unplugged/
“A Rhetorical Analysis of ‘When My Kids Unplugged’.” GradesFixer, 13 Feb. 2024, gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-when-my-kids-unplugged/
A Rhetorical Analysis of ‘When My Kids Unplugged’. [online]. Available at: <https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-when-my-kids-unplugged/> [Accessed 17 Apr. 2024].
A Rhetorical Analysis of ‘When My Kids Unplugged’ [Internet]. GradesFixer. 2024 Feb 13 [cited 2024 Apr 17]. Available from: https://gradesfixer.com/free-essay-examples/a-rhetorical-analysis-of-when-my-kids-unplugged/
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